An enthralling match at Trent Bridge to open the Ashes campaign for Australia’s women has only reinforced Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game for women as it is for men.
The ACA’s General Manager – Cricket Operations and Player Relations, Brendan Drew, says the opportunity for women to play Test cricket goes well beyond the prestige of the baggy green.
“Women’s Test cricket provides an opportunity for our players to test and strengthen their endurance, technique, and temperament over the longer format in differing conditions.
“It was great to see both teams build strong first innings totals when the pitch was at its best, and then the game evolving as conditions changed and the spin of Ashleigh Gardner coming to the forefront on the fourth and fifth days.”
Test and long-form cricket are where skills are tested and where players are more exposed to the swinging, seaming, and spinning ball and changing conditions that don’t occur in shorter formats.
Having long advocated for more long-form women’s cricket, the ACA is buoyed by the clear appetite for the format from players and fans (the Trent Bridge Test drew a world-record crowd of 20,924 in attendance over the first four days), as well as Cricket Australia, with Nick Hockley telling the AAP that CA wants all full-member ICC nations to play multi-format series.
It is a great opportunity to build momentum for the multiformat series concept with series’ scheduled against India away in December, and January; and against South Africa at home at the WACA in February.
“The ACA encourages the scheduling of even more long format cricket for our female players at the international level,” says Drew.
“Long-form cricket needs to be driven from the top down and if the Australian side plays more of it, this provides a great opportunity to explore domestic long-form cricket.”
To increase exposure to longer formats, Drew says CA should consider the introduction of long-form domestic cricket with playing conditions adapted to suit including playing two-, three- or four-day games.